The Buffalo Bills opened up their 2011 pre-season schedule this evening with a 10-3 road loss to the Chicago Bears. Though the offense was largely out of sync and the overall level of play was sloppy, the Bills did get a very strong effort defensively.
Keyed by outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, who picked up two sacks in roughly a quarter's worth of play (he looked fantastic working against J'Marcus Webb), the Bills totaled nine sacks on the evening, albeit against a very porous Bears offensive front. Marcell Dareus, Alex Carrington, Spencer Johnson, Danny Batten (two), Brad Jefferson and Kellen Heard all recorded sacks on the evening, as well.
Also defensively, rookie cornerback Aaron Williams recorded a gorgeous interception deep in his own territory, snuffing out a Bears drive in the red zone.
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 7-of-9 passes for 44 yards as the Bills opened up a 3-0 lead early in the game, but the team struggled to run the ball and made some costly penalty errors to negate stronger scoring opportunities early in the game.
All in all, this was precisely what one should expect from a pre-season game: some good, some bad, some ugly, and overall very boring. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the evening below; we'll have much more to discuss tomorrow.